What About Letting Go Of The Huge Blocks That Seem Impossible To Shake?

let go of what you don't need

I’m not an opinion leader, I’m not a paradigm of how to live, but, professionally, I’m a wellness expert, feng shui master and designer.

In my life there should be no big obstacles right?

I’m a change-maker and I clear space for magic to happen.

My life should be all rainbows, all stunning bouquets of succulents and gorgeous gemstones… all flowers and abundance and love and light.

I’ve been blessed with a lot of that.   I create a lot of that.

But, I created it despite being so blocked in my life that it started to feel like I was rolling a boulder up a mountain every day as it rolled back on me.

I just had what I’m told is major surgery.  I wasn’t going to share it,  then I realized it was the hugest and most unshakeable personal block I’d ever removed from my own life… and the process itself was so sweeping and vast…

If you’re feeling blocked with something terifying or overwhelming or just so stubborn and crushing that you can’t imagine finally letting it go, I know a bit of how you feel.   And, I know you can find your way to your own freedom.

let it go

(the usual bliss)

Because I’m a wellness expert and a feng shui master and all things holistic and ostensibly balanced run through my life, I can tell you I carried a lot of shame with me in my uterus for a few long years as I tried to make a fibroid go away (here’s what that is if you don’t know) that was both a metaphorical weight tied around my ankles and an actual weight smashing vital organs to bits inside of me as it grew inside of me.

The statistics vary but I’ve seen it quoted that over 70% of women have one of these in a lifetime, some say 50%… but let’s just say they are very common. Small ones can self-resolve or just stay small and are never noticed.

That said, mine was pretty big from the get-go.  It started out the size of a lemon when it first came to my attention one day when I had pain so sharp that I thought it was my appendix bursting and wound up in the ER under a CT scan. It grew in three laborious years to be a large grapefruit size, much to everyone’s surprise, as the scans showed it was so much smaller.

In those three years I spent probably about fifteen thousand dollars and hundreds of hours trying to blast this fibroid away in meditation, with herbs that turned me super-hot and bright red to the point of fainting,  with diet switches that were maddening and impossible to maintain…I prayed at my Buddhist temple in Japan at the base of Mt Fuji… I swam in every form of healing known to esoteric mankind…

I did it all.

I felt like a failure because every holistic method I found on the highest level it was practiced couldn’t make it go away. For three years I tried everything under the sun and in back-alley underground super-secret LA circles of New Age-esque stuff.

I tried everything.

Are you familiar with that whole notion that you’ve tried everything and nothing works?

I feel your white hot frustration.

I believed that I should be able to move this away with intention and positive energy.

I thought it was going to be easier.

It kept defeating me because it slowed me down more and more. It made life suck more often than not. It was scary. And I was stubborn.

If something isn’t working the way you are trying it, even if you seem to be trying everything in the world,  you might want to get totally new perspective. 

There’s an infinity of perspectives if you search for them – and that’s an overwhelming problem in itself.  The opinions that tend to work best for me come from trust and admiriation.

If you inspire me and I feel great in your space, I’m ready to listen.

If it feels right, it is right.

This time I had to reach for something that could feel right and not feel like more desperation.  I realized I wasn’t looking for another miracle now to frantically charge toward as my shame grew… (I quietly spun in thinking: What kind of healing expert couldn’t make a dent when all these miracle stories swirled on the internet of magically disolving fibroids? What the hell happened to me, because I used to be so instantly powerful? )

In all my wishing and wanting and failing and frustration of the past I realize I had quickly dismissed the one solution that I found frustrating and often terrifying: an actual Western medical doctor.

Just like you might need a real lawyer, an actual accountant, a fabulous house contractor, pharmaceutical medicine or a therapist to get through something.  If you’re in the DIY or holistic realms- or shocked with overwhelm… or don’t have the money you want to spend for an expert- it can be easy to skip on past these classic problem-solving experts.

My A-list team of healers, doctors, advisors, wellness experts, homeopaths and friends helped me find the absolute best way that felt right- albeit terrifying- that I wasn’t willing to see before.  Surgery.

Apparently it’s neither a life failure or a tragedy to have surgery, as I had shamed myself into believing.

I found the most sought-after surgeon in the world for this particular issue right here in LA, and as synergy would have it, miraculously he transferred into my group of doctors in LA exactly when I reached out to find him independently from his incredible website online.  He is mad-cool, extremely supportive of my efforts to shrink this thing on my own and was even willing to hear me cry up till the last moments before I was knocked out in the operating room…

“You know what the awesome news is?”

I could barely speak I was so twisted in terror so I just nodded at him.

“I’m not concerned in the slightest bit.”

He smiled huge. I leapt up and hugged him.  Then, I laid back down on my wheely bed and let my hands fall around this huge hard ball that was preventing me from exercising… I stopped wearing clothes without a sweater on top to hide my enormously swelling stomach … It kept me from feeling alive a lot of the time with severe anemia that hit critical levels at times…

It was a huge hard ball I could hold in two hands!!!

It made me feel petrified (like dead wood) inside.  It was in the wall of my uterus- a space where babies are meant to thrive and creativity was meant to be born- and apparently it had no more blood supply so it was ultra-stagnant.

And I was ready to let it go, finally.  After weeks of driving everyone around me insane with my fears of death, fears of success, fears of everything to do with this procedure that really had nothing to do with anything but complete and utter self-condemnation I was finally set to surrender.

Have you ever been so stuck in life in some way that everything fails you when you try to fix it… and it rocks your confidence so much that it feels too terrifying to move through simple challenges in life that are actually not that big of a deal? 

I’ve worked with clients who were terrified to throw things away or give them away after a catastrophic natural disaster wiped out their previous home.  People who were manifesting skin diseases and unexplained illnesses at the thought of letting things go.  I’ve worked with clients who have had absolute meltdowns just at the point when everything was going their way…

Have you ever tried so hard to change something that you feel cursed because it’s so hard to make a change? 

I’ve watched people (like myself) get very entrenched sometimes in the dysfunction of their lives.  The benefit of being blocked is the safety it seems to provide, shrinking into self-isolation.  That benefit, of course, is really a curse, shrinking your life to a standstill sometimes.

I clung to this particular block- one that I could hold in two hands as I laid in that hospital bed – because it arrived after a huge trauma that I never wanted to repeat again.

The Cliff Note’s version: I had been deathy ill and then my mom died suddenly before I was even well enough to fully understand it all…and at the same time I was betrayed by a friend and couldn’t really do anything work-wise for nearly six months.  I was a perfect storm of trauma.

While I thought I worked all the pain and anger and grief out of me, I actually quit on that work and therapy and intensive spiritual practice and decision-making just before I was really done.  I quit right before my own breakthrough.  Instead, I cleverly engineered my life filled with work and business and responsibility so that I wouldn’t ever have to reach into areas like love and radical adventure again – spaces where I could be crushed- because there was no time for that in this new paradigm I built.

It’s when this whole parasitic nightmare began brewing inside of me.

In some pretty shocking ways, trauma can leave you feeling undeserving of a good life. Or good health. THIS article from Prevention breaks it down:

What do early traumas have to do with health decades later? “Adverse childhood experiences underlie the most common causes of death in the US,” says Vincent J. Felitti, MD, an internist at the Southern California Permanente Medical Group in San Diego. In a survey of more than 20,000 adults, Dr. Felitti and his colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that those who suffered physical, psychological, or emotional abuse as children, or were raised in households marked by violence, substance abuse, mental illness, or criminal behavior, were far more likely to develop serious illnesses as adults—everything from diabetes and bronchitis to cancer and heart disease.

“Adverse childhood experiences are likely to produce anger, anxiety, and depression,” says Dr. Felitti. “To the degree that behavior such as overeating, smoking, and substance abuse are found to be effective coping devices, they would tend to be used chronically.” Not exactly a recipe for wellness.

But that’s only one way that traumatic experiences can destroy your health. “The chronic stress of unresolved emotional pain wreaks havoc on your immune and circulatory systems, cardiac function, hormone levels, and other physical functions,” says psychiatrist Harold H. Bloomfield, MD, author of Making Peace with Your Past (HarperCollins, 2000). And it’s not just childhood adversity that does the damage, he notes. The upheavals of adolescence and the losses and letdowns of adulthood also eat away at the body’s resistance.

“We must make peace with our past,” asserts Dr. Bloomfield, “because our life may literally depend on it.”

I woke up Thursday with love around me everywhere.  Friends on my phone.  People by my side. And space inside me that was freed from a 4″ ball of intense pressure.

Every moment, I feel freedom coming back where I was tremendously stuck.

In some ways I feel like a little kid again, taking naps, doodling, daydreaming, wandering the streets in the sun.

Even in this post-surgical haze I feel awake, lighter, my organs are where they are meant to be, I can exercise, I feel a kind of wonder I haven’t felt… ever…

I know my whole life is different even though I’m still bumbling around and just made it through my first shower a few hours ago…

The process leading up to letting it go was as much a transformation as the actual act of getting this surgery. Every day now is a part of that new way to live.

Each step I took- even the parts where you struggled, failed, tried again, backslid, and wrestled with the Gods to figure out what to do next- was a part of the transformation.

I don’t regret the three-times-a-week electronic acupuncture, the fermented mushrooms imported from Japan, the wickedly effective esoteric healer who left me sore for days yet did nothing to shrink this thing inside me… or any of the other enormous list of things I tried before I had surgery.  I don’t hate myself for trying to hide and hope this would miraculously go away between each failed attempt.

I’m proud that I decided to keep trying to find a way… and I’m thrilled that I finally did it.

I’m off to take one of a hundred naps, and I wish you so much light and flow and triumph where you’ve been feeling bested by a big block.

You got this one.

xoxo Dana



feng shui 101And, if you want to dive in to your own personalized feng shui in a modern, practical way, Say hello to Feng Shui 101.  Its the guide I made for you to create your own personalized feng shui at home, in the office, wherever you may be… in 8 weeks.  It’s not filled with strict rules or what you “must” do.  Its filled with information, questions, exercises and even videos and classes to help you confidently create amazing spaces with killer feng shui and live with more flow.   Learn more about the 8-week feng shui adventure & grab your copy to get started right HERE…  And, as always, please let me know what happens!

Jackie November 8, 2015 at 10:04 pm

Dana, thanks so much for this. The past year has been a stubborn healing of stops and starts. Going to keep going after this post.

danaclaudat November 8, 2015 at 10:11 pm

xoxoxoxo you can do it!!!

Susan Rhodes November 9, 2015 at 1:34 am

Blessings and love to you Dana. Thank you for your beautiful, sharing spirit.

Vivían November 9, 2015 at 2:07 am

Dana, so happy for you. Now you know why I got bariatric surgery and the freedom that conquering such degree of stagnation brings. By the way, I realized the need for a change of perspective working with you in the catalyst camp. That was my biggest gain that cycle. Now, I am ready for a fresher outside. Thanks, thanks,thanks!

danaclaudat November 9, 2015 at 3:33 am

yay!!! yes i do know, and i’m thrilled for you!!!!!

karikate emand November 9, 2015 at 5:57 pm

That was really brave and kind of you to share your story.
Almost everybody feels guilty having some kind of illness,
but with people who openly pursue wellness its even harder.
Sharing stories like this allow us all to be more relaxed and compassionate about our problems.
Greetings from Estonia :), and lots of love and blessings to you 🙂

mary November 9, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Thank you so very much for sharing. It means more to me than even I could have expected. I wouldn’t have thought it possible to have a mentor that I have never met but I do …… in you. I get emotional because you have changed my life with your strength and compassion and wisdom. Thank you. Keep taking good care of yourself. I need you. love, mary

Anna November 9, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Thank you for sharing your story Dana and I am so glad you have found relief and release. I could relate to the frustration you previously felt on your healing journey and found this a very insightful powerful story where you have found simplicity and acceptance past the ‘shoulds’. Wishing you a happy healthy recovery and lightness of step. xx

Annie November 10, 2015 at 1:41 am

Thank you for sharing your story. You are my hero. So glad you feel relief. I agree with Mary, in post above, about having a mentor I never met- but feels like I know so well. That is cool. Thank you. I always look forward to your uplifting words.

arielle November 10, 2015 at 8:02 pm

what Mary said ? wishing you health and happiness Dana. much love ??

Jasmine November 10, 2015 at 8:27 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story Dana. I so can relate with your issue.I too have huge fibroid.But in spite of my surgery, I am still struggling with it.Because I still have to hide it,and worse explain it when people congratulate me for being pregnant.I feel blocked,burdened,and I don’t know what else to do?Nothing seems to be working.I feel stuck,I feel like a failure.How do I unblock ?Love and light to all.

Anne November 10, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Many greatfull thanks!!
I can recognise a lot of my story in your story!

I have tried all kinds of alternative healers, craniosakral therapy, acupuncture, hypnosis, vitamins, herbs ect, everything BUT a medical doctor.

I to quit and jump on to the next miracle cure, before the real healing can take place. In a lack of trust that there will be help for me, that I will be taken seriously. That I am worthy of a good life? Is that it!!
I am terrified of doctors and hospitals because of a very bad experience some years ago when I was in hospital. And I have had a traumatic childhood.

I have stopped talking to friends and family about how bad my health really is.
Instead I have just become more and more isolated, because it is easier than I always have to reply; Sorry, I can’t. I am to tired.To exhausted.

Many thanks once again.
For the first time in two years someone have made me understand my own stuck behavior, that I have been so deeply ashamed of. I don’t want to feel ashamed anymore!!

Kind regards all the way from Denmark,


Kris November 10, 2015 at 10:23 pm

As someone who suffered for years with uterine fibroids before having surgery, I love this story. Thank you!

Jeanne November 10, 2015 at 11:50 pm

It’s so great to hear you are getting back to being your “old” (now new) self. Feel better soon!!!

Claudia November 11, 2015 at 8:59 am

Thank you for your honesty! I’ve been struggling with several health issues, all related to stress and an anxiety disorder. I seem to manifest physical symptoms whenever I am stressed and feel out of control.

So many people I admire online seem to be able to manifest miraculous things and swear by manifesting, and all things holistic. It makes me feel ashamed and like a failure that this doesn’t (always) seem to work for me.

It’s very important to get the message out there that sometimes you can try anything and do everything right and it still won’t work. That there isn’t always a net that appears when you leap.

And there is no shame in surrendering and seeking help from traditional medicine. I think the combination is what works best for me now.

Thank you for the inspiration, and I hope you’ll feel better soon.

Rianne November 11, 2015 at 9:51 am

Thank you so much for sharing! So brave, beautiful, moving and just what I needed to hear.

I know it’s all about letting go and I want to let go so badly. But trying very hard to let go is like this twisted oxymoron, it’s never going to happen unless you let go of the trying. Frustrating but brilliant.

Wishing you lots of peace, joy, space, love!

Sneza November 11, 2015 at 1:36 pm

All the best to you Dana, somebody once said :”Live your life with arms wide open, today is where your books begins….the rest is still unwritten”xoxoxo

Leslie November 11, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Wow, full body tingles. Thank you for your vulnerability and sharing so authentically, you are amazing 🙂

Faith November 13, 2015 at 1:02 am

That is the bravest thing I have read in a long time. As someone who also believes that the ‘alternative ways’ always work if you believe in them enough, I can truly imagine how you felt when they didn’t heal the fibroid.

I am happy you made an ‘unconventional choice’ that worked for you and opened up more space than you could have ever imagined. Holy Body Feng Shui eh?

Thank you so much for sharing yourself like this and I can’t wait to see what this helps you to birth now. 🙂

danaclaudat November 17, 2015 at 6:17 am

thank you so much!!!!

Andrea November 13, 2015 at 10:37 am

Dear Dana! So brave of you to share your story. Wishing you a rapid recovery! There is one method that you might not have heard about and can help prevent the fibroids from coming back is the Aviva Method, which I’d be happy to teach you online. Here is some info on it: http://yoganutrition.com/aviva-method/
By the way I love your feng-shui video series on mindbodygreen.com 🙂 Sending healing energies!

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